Basic young consumers

Born in the 1990s into a technological milieu, Americans under 30 seem to demonstrate an affinity for things you can’t buy.

Home-made slime is comprised of glue, shaving cream, laundry detergent, food coloring, and glitter. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Each morning, this series shares excerpts from the day’s Wall Street Journal, with added context for blockchain investors and enthusiasts. Subscribe here.

Slime: The Journal seems intent on characterizing young people as daft, rudderless consumers who have forgotten how to properly consume. The alternative: anything peer to peer.

First it was a story about young Millennial moms and dads who make their own soaps. Then it was teens banking humble profits selling old clothing online. Then it was the so-called “live chilling” phenomenon. Today, it’s an account of home-made slime and the young lady entrepreneurs selling it to their friends.

“This slime is a glutinous, colorful substance adolescents carry around to knead, fold and swirl — at school, at home, everywhere. They post videos of themselves poking it to make funny noises.”

The article goes on to describe a group of 11-year old entrepreneurs “cashing in on slime” by selling it to classmates for $3. The price had originally been $1, but the three girls decided to triple it so they could reinvest profits in making more slime. It’s a combination security blanket, boredom killer, and peer-to-peer marketing scam!

What these four stories demonstrate is an unwillingness to pay top dollar for a product or “experience” when one can enjoy the company of friends for free. It’s hard to imagine this generation earnestly carrying on extortionate retail traditions like Black Friday, once grown up. Perhaps their affinity for low-cost, peer to peer transactions will be writ large someday, with the help of decentralized networks.